RAN A-4G+ Skyhawk 2002

RAN A-4G+ Skyhawk 2002

Plastic model techniques and experiments.

Paint chipping experiments.

Those of you who know me know that I've been trying to create the ultimate in realistic chipping for many many years. It began in earnest back in 1998 with my Tamiya 48th scale F4U-1A Corsair.

I've tried many things since but haven't been entirely happy with the results.

Ki-84 chipped using Gekko Graphics "chips & scratches" decals.

Tamiya MiG-15 chipped using the 'pulling masking tape' method.

Trumpeter 32nd scale kit using silver pencils.

Recently I've been checking out those using the “hair-spray method”.




My initial experiments (on a pair of 48th scale Betty cowling's) turned out rather well. I sprayed some hair spray, didn't pay attention to what brand, it doesn't matter, into a small medicine cup and then poured that into my airbrush cup and simply airbrushed over the grey/silver Vallejo painted cowling's.

The first experiment was with the cowling that you see has a black wash in the panel lines. With this one I began 'washing' off the green paint almost straight after spraying it. I 'washed' it off with an old brush and distilled water, though tap water will also do. I was amazed how easily it started coming off. I also realised that I had to be careful or bigger chunks would come off, which is not what I wanted.
So I began masking the panels with Tamiya tape and then carefully applying the water in small areas. This worked somewhat better.

With the other cowling I waited a day before removing the green. The green was also layered a bit heavier. When it started coming off, with a bit more resistance, it loosened off in larger areas and I had even less control over it.

However I haven't been able to replicate it! Experiments that I've done since have not been so successful. With the Betty cowling's I sealed in the silver/grey with Future and left them for a couple of days before spraying the green. In recent experiments I had only waited a day or less which resulted in the water washing off not only the green but all the way down to the bare plastic!
So, what I decided to do was airbrush on some enamel silver onto some plastic card and then spray the hair spray (straight out of the can) and then the acrylic paint over that.
I sprayed Tamiya XF-26 on one half and Aeromaster FS. 34102 Green on the other. Since the two acrylic paints are made up of slightly different base formulas I figured I may get a different result when it came to washing the greens off. I did!

1. was caused by Tamiya tape. There is no adhesion of the acrylic paint to the surface at all, so even tape like Tamiya tape will pull the paint off in sheets.
2. Here I tried to chip along a straight edge using another sheet of plastic card. It was minimally successful.
3. Here I tried scratching with a needle. Even with tamiya paint it still came away in tears and sheets.
4. Here I used a lot of water and just washed the surface gently until the paint started coming away.
The other chipped areas were done using a coarse brush with its hairs cut to about 3mm. I used a stippling action and this seemed to work the best.

The Tamiya paint stained slightly darker wherever I worked the brush on the surface, but it chipped better with a little more control. The Aeromaster paint stained a lot less, even minimally, but chipped with a little less control, producing slightly bigger chips.

Next I am going to strip the paint off the Ki-84 test hulk once again, coat it with silver enamel, mask some areas with tamiya tape, like this....
.......then spray the hair spray, remove the masks, then spray Tamiya paint and try again, mainly using the stippling method and see how that turns out. Stay tuned! :)


Jorge Medio said...

Hi boss. Maybe this is not the proper place to put this comment, but I wasn't able to post it on your plastic model section.
My question is how do you make those plastic feet (as seen in the rafale and Ta-183 models) to keep aircraft in the air?
Do you buy them? If those are made by you can you tell me how you make them?
Thank you.

Studio Gekko said...

Hi Jorge,

the bases were made by a friend especially for those jets. The plastic rods are Perspex that has been gently heated in an oven and then bent into shape.



Anonymous said...

I like exact chipping of paint on my 1/72 models. I base cote with silver lacquer, then air brush the top color in enamel paint. I wait a few minutes and then, with the tip of a brand new scalpal gently chip the top color exposing the base color. Allows the finest chipping and scratching to match any photo. Try it.